Dirty Minds: The Neurobiology of Love
Kayt Sukel: I think that the revolution in neuroscience is sort of happening in two fronts. One, is the study of epigenetics, and the best way to think of the epigenome is that if the – our genomes, our DNA, is the hardware of a computer, our epigenome is the software. So it’s actually sort of telling our DNA how it should be expressed, how much of a particular protein should be expressed and at what time during our life. And the epigenome is heavily influenced by our environment and not just our environment, our parents’ environment and their parents’ environment. Some of the software programs are so embedded that they make these changes that last for generations, others for just a small period of time.
So, the revolution is really coming in understanding that there is no more nature vs. nurture debate. Nature and nurture are intertwined; they’re really impossible to separate. And as we look at our study of brain and behavior, we need to understand that there is no behavior, there is no biology, outside of the environment.
And then the second point, I think, in neuroscience, for a long time, we’d been gender blind. So many studies, for many reasons, have only focused on males of the species or have not compared men and women, and they haven’t compared male and female brains. And although it’s quite controversial--and for whatever reason, people want to take different to mean smarter or better--I don’t think that we can ignore anymore that male and female brains have certain circuits that are sexually dimorphic the same way that we have downstairs regions that are different. We have some upstairs regions that are different as well. And, moving forward in the study of neuroscience, we’re going to have to really pay attention to the fact that there are these differences, to understand what they mean for behavior.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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